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  THE  MIRROR Newspaper of the  International  Dzogchen Community December  1998/January  1999 ã  issue  No.  47  French  Community  with  Chögyal   Namkhai Norbu Chögyal  Namkhai Norbu in  France  November   1998 T  he French Community had the pleasure to  welcome  Rinpoche in  four   different   places in the  month  of  November. MARSEILLES  TEACHINGS The first teachings took place in  Marseilles,  which  is the third biggest town in France on the Mediterranean coast. They were  nicely  organized by the  local  practice group in two different  theaters.  Many  new people from the Southeast of France came for this event,  with  their special  friendly accent. After giving  a  public  lecture  Friday  evening as a gen eral  introduction to Dzogchen, Rinpoche started a very short  retreat  immediately the next morning in  three  long and intensive sessions, where he developed the fundamentals of Dzogchen practice starting from the very base.  Looking  at the  public,  one  could  note  two groups; one rejoicing and the other under shock from the direct ness  and intensity of the teachings.  During  the breaks a Dance Mandala was put out and dances performed, as well  as explanations about Yantra  Yoga  and the Short Tun.  The last session Sunday morning was dedicated to the extensive transmission of   lungs  and concluded by the gift  of one of the Master's special dream teachings about the  three  kayas. DEI  AM  LING After  one day of   rest,  we drove two hours West to the new French land, Le Deves, in the Southern Cevennes. There the main preliminary work had been to prepare road and  provisional  parking places, as  well  as  paths  to make Rinpoche's exploration of the land as comfortable and safe as  possible.  After  the first welcome and a cham pagne  toast  near the warm fireplace, Rinpoche withdrew to his rooms in a nearby house. Then the first big Gana-puja took place for  Lha  Bab Duchen  with  fifty  practitioners squeezed into the  living  room- Next  morning, Rinpoche practiced a short Sang rite under a wonderful blue sky, and practitioners of neigh boring  centers,  like  Rigpa,  Shambala, etc., came to see him.  Our  nearest  neighbor also welcomed Rinpoche and expressed his satisfaction  that  people working for  peace settled  in  this happy  valley. After  this short ceremony, Rinpoche immediately visited  the house, the land and indicated interesting building  places. Then we went back to the main  building for  lunch and Rinpoche gave the name Dejam  Ling ( place of   infinite bliss )  to the  land.  Two vases were put inside  the house, one coming from the dark   retreat  house in  Plouray,  the second from  Lama  Denis  in  Karma  Ling.  continued   on  page  3 CHÖGYAL NAMKHAI  NORBU INTERNATIONAL PROGRAM  1998-2000 1998-99 ARGENTINA  TASHIGAR Teachings: December 26 -January 4 SMS  Base  level  exams: January 29-31 SMS  Training  1st  level:  February 1-5 SMS  1  st  level  Exams:  February 26-28 SMS  Training  2nd  level: March  1  -5 Teachings:  April  2-6,1999 1999 PERU Teachings:  April  16-18 VENEZUELA Teachings:  April  28-May  2 ITALY  MERIGAR. Vesak:  May  28-30 USA New  York  City  June 4-6 TSEGYALGAR June 25-July 3 Teaching Retreat Santi  Maha  Sangha at Tsegyalgar: June 11-13  SMS  Base  level  exam June 14-18  SMS  1st  level  training USA  (continued) July  4- 6  SMS  1  st  level  exam July  7-11 2nd  level  training July  13-15 2nd  level  exam July  16-20 3rd  level  training Chicago,  Aug.  13-15 Houston.  Aug.  20-22 Santa  Fe,  Aug.  27-29 Santa  Fe,  Teaching  for  Tibetans,  Aug.  30 Colorado,  Tara  Mandala MEXICO Teaching  Sept. 17-19 USA  (again) San Francisco  Sept.24-28 Portland.  Oct.8-10 Los  Angeles. Oct.  15-17 Hawaii.  Oct.  27-31 PACIFIC  RIM New  Zealand  Dec.  3-5 Australia,Sydney Dec.  10-12 2000 AUSTRALIA NAMGYALGAR Retreat, Dec.26-Jan.2 A  Weekend Seminar at Clyro  Court Wales by  Peter  White SEE  CONTACTS  ON  PAGE  3 '  I his year has been a year of A  fruition  and energy for our UK  Dzogchen Community.  Earli er this year we were delighted to finally  make purchase of a ready to use  retreat  house (ex-farmhouse) in a beautifully unspoiled area of Wales (Wales is a semi-autonomous region West of   Eng land).  Rinpoche advised us to name this place   KunSelLing  -place of   luminosity. In  May, relatively soon afterwards, the focused intent and aspirations of our Community together  with  the collaboration of an efficient  local  planning consul tant  resulted in our  building  appli cation  for outbuilding development being granted. This was important for us, as  KunSelLing needs  a dedicated space for regu lar  events in order to be complete. At  almost the  same  time, further news  that  our illustrious  Mas ter  Chögyal  Namkhai  Norbu would  visit  the UK arrived. This was a wonderful surprise for everyone here, realizing how  full Rinpoche's  schedule is, and  that  a visit  to our Isle was not  initially planned. Five  months later and the scene is  Clyro  Court  Hotel,  Wales (just 10km down the road from KunSelLing).  on the eve of the retreat.  The weather is absolutely awful.  The rain has been lashing down  here  for days turning the valley  fields into vast lakes dotted with  trees.  The  Hotel  begins to feel  in a very real way  like  a boat for  people on the path to libera tion!  Our main worry is  that  many people  will  not be able to even get to  Clyro  Court: all the  buses  have been canceled, and many of the trains too. As the day progresses, and  with  the help of several cars going  out to  pick   up stranded  pil grims,  it  seems that  by some mira cle  almost all  those  expected have arrived. So  the next day, as the rain continued to pour down and occa sionally  the sun shone through, Rinpoche  started teaching in a very  essentia], direct and  vivid way.  During  the  three  days of the retreat  he covered immense ground  including  such  aspects  as the difference between symbol and knowledge of   ones  condition, empowerment and introduction, the symbol of the vajra,  shine  and lhagthong.  Guru Yoga  and the practice of natural light. I  am sure Rinpoche's powerful exposition  of the teachings touched everyone in a different profound  way,  like  the rays of light  reflected in  individual  crystals. For me what I feel inspired to express  here  is  that  Rinpoche seemed to  sense  the unique  collec tive  energy of his audience and somehow respond to  that  in a most  flexible  and appropriate way.  Rinpoche made very clear to us the overwhelming importance of   the  Guru Yoga,  and  that  doing this practice involves no conflicts between different schools and tra ditions.  Indeed it automatically resolves all conflicts we have in our minds, since the enlightened knowledge of all  true  Masters comes from the  same  source.  Rin poche reminded us to put in perspective the role of technique and manifestation, and to remember the real purpose of the teachings, which  is to (re)discover our real nature. In  terms of scale this  retreat was a new experience for our Community.  Expected on Saturday were 250+  attendees  many of whom  were to  meet  Rinpoche for the first time. In order to make the most of our short time together ã>nri tn try and involve newcomers to the Community, we arranged some activities in addition to  Rin poche's teachings: Yantra  Yoga, Dance of the  Vajra.  practice explanations and collective evening practices. Thus the schedule during our short time together here  was quite  full  and varied from  morning  to night. On  Saturday night, a night known  as   Halloween  here  in the UK,  a night in  which  the spirits of  continued   on  page  3 CONTENTS 2  T EACHING Chogyal S'dmkhai Sorbu 3  K ARMA  L ING Contacts 4  B OOK  R EVIEWS 6  F REEDOM OF  R ELIGION  Ann  Pickering 7  L OGGING  B ANS IN  T IBET  Daniel Winkler 8  G AME OF  B AKCHEN  Dr. Thubten Phunlsog 9  T IBETAN  M ASSAGE  Dr. Nida Chenag Siang 10  I NTERNATIONAL  C ONGRESS on  Tibetan Medicine 11  Q UESTIONS  &  A NSWERS faun Washington 12-14  C OMMUNITY  N EWS 16-17  R EFLECTIONS 20  T HE  T RUTH  John Shane  Chögyal  Namkhai Norbu (After   giving the 'lung' of   different   practices). T hese  [practices] are secondary things. Sometimes they are useful and  that  is why we try to do them when we have the  possibility-Possibility  means  that  I am here, you are here, we are alive  here  together  now. And even though you have no idea of doing this or  that practice in this moment, you can't know because  we are  living  in circumstances and  cir cumstances can change every day. At some moment you may need to do one of   these  practices and if   you  have no transmission it's not so easy to get it immediately. Some people write long  letters  to me when they have problems saying, I have all  these problems etc. What shall I do? What  kind  of practice can I do?' So then I give some advice but I don't know whether  that  person has not had transmission or  not, and I can't send transmission in a letter. I  can't give transmission by phone. Some people  call  and ask me.   Hello.  Can you give me transmission of this practice? I've never tried  because  I'm not sure. Because if I give transmission and you receive transmission it must be 100 percent sure, otherwise when you do practice it doesn't work. So I don't know if we can give transmission through video, cas sette,  telephone or something  like  this  because  there  was no explanation of this at the time of Padmasambhava. There was no video or phone, they never used this  kind  of system for teaching, so we don't know. So  that  is the reason why we try to do this  kind  of thing concretely when we are  together  and we have this  possibility. Some people think   that  they are not interested in  these types of things,  that  they  will  never do  these  practices. But who knows? Maybe one day you  will  need to do them. But I'm not saying  that  you  will  definitely need them. We don't know. Anyway,  we are  living  in our relative condition and in any case  all  these  are secondary things. The first indispensable thing is guru yoga. That is something very important. If you want to  call  it 'guru yoga' or if you want to  call  it 'being in the  state  of contemplation' or if you want to  call  it 'being in the  state  of transmission',  there  is no difference. In the real sense that  is what we mean by guru yoga. So it is very impor tant. i,v.  -annui have any  kind  ot realization if we are not working with  transmission  because  we are  living  in our dual- istic  vision.  When we say yes , it  means  we consider yes , we have already negated no and when we say no , we have negated yes . That is our  mind.  So when we accept, we do not reject, when we reject we do not accept. That is our mind,  what we understand is  that.  We  follow  that  logic  and then we think, This is this .  Why?  Because when we  find  a because we believe very much. But we can never reach the real  sense  with  that.  For  that  reason we cannot get into knowledge; understanding of Dzogchen  with  our judgment, our mind, our  logic  and analysis. We can never do it. For  that reason we need transmission. Transmission is one of the most important things. Do  you remember, for example, the story of   Tilopa  and Naropa? Naropa was a very learned man. He knew all the tantras  and sutra studies and was a very famous pandit. But he wasn't realized,  which  meant  he  hadn't  gotten into the real condition and for  that  reason he  followed  a  teacher  for a long time. But even though he  followed  his  teacher  his understanding always remained an intellectual point of   view  and so he stayed a long time  with  his  teacher.  One day  Tilopa  hit Naropa in the face  with  his shoe and Naropa lost his function of   mind  at  that  moment, and when he woke up he already had this knowledge. I  am not saying  that  for transmitting directly we need to beat  people, but this story is an example. Transmission is very important and  there  are many ways of transmitting. Transmis sion  is not only  explaining  or  giving  initiations, etc. I  didn't know  that  when I went to my  teacher, Changchub Dorje, for the first time. I had  spent  many years in  college studying sutra philosophy and later on many higher  tantras.  And I really thought I was a scholar and  that I  knew everything. I had a lot of pride and thought I was a very studied person. Then I went to see my  teacher,  Changchub Dorje, not because  I didn't know teaching and I wanted to receive a teaching. I went  because  I had a dream and in the dream it seemed  that  it was very important for me to  meet  that  teacher. When  later on I discovered  that  this  teacher  and this place from my  dream existed, I went to see him. When  I saw him for the first time I felt a little  strange because  I was very accustomed to being in a monastery, seeing very elegant  teachers  in  silk   robes,  giving  teachings  with  ceremony and wearing wonderful  hats.  [On  those  occasions] I would  think, Oh this is a fantastic teaching. This is really Buddha. This is a real  teacher!  I had this  kind  of attitude. The teachers  were also very expert in explaining tantra and sutra and I  would  think how fantastic the teaching was. When  I arrived at Changchub Dorje's place I found an old Being  in the  State of   Transmission  Excerpt   from  a Teaching  given  by Chögyal  Namkhai Norbu Sunday, November 1st, 1998  Clyro  Court, Wales, Great  Britain man from the  village,  dressed  like  an ordinary person sitting in the corner of   his  house. I thought, this is  strange  but he must be a  very important  teacher.  I  spent  a few days  there  but he never taught  anything. He asked me if I had studied Tibetan medicine and I said,   Yes,  I studied the four  tantras  twice . He said, Oh  that's  good. You can help me ,  because  he was a good doctor. He said,   You  can do moxabustion and  blood  letting . I  had studied  these  things but in an intellectual way. I had never actually done them. I felt a little afraid but when he asked me I tried to do  these  things  with  his  students  who were already expert and did them every day.  After  a few days I was expert too. And  also bloodletting -1 didn't have much idea how to do it before but then I understood how it works  because  before [the treatment]  he  would  give medicine to concentrate the illness in a  particular place so  that  all  this impure blood  would  come out. So  I learned something interesting about Tibetan medicine. But  I  hadn't  gone  there  for studying medicine. I wanted to receive some interesting teachings, but he wasn't  giving  any. Then one day, the day of Padmasambhava, I asked him, Please give me a teaching  because  it's a very important day . I asked him to give me an initiation  because  I was accustomed to receiving an initiation in tantric style and we feel  very important. And he said, But I already gave you an initiation.   When did you give it to me? When you arrived here,  that  night I had a dream and you were  present  and I took a  crystal rock and I put it on your  three  places and I empowered them  with  the vajra of body, speech and mind. You already received empowerment . But  that  is your dream, I didn't have this dream , I said. It doesn't work for me . [Rinpoche laughs] Then in the end he said,   OK.  I'll give you an initiation. So  he gave a more or less formal initiation related  with  the 25 'lung'of   the terma teaching of'shitro'. He gave us this teach ing  and transmission. But it was very  difficult  because  he was not a scholar. He had many  termas  and he was a fantastic teacher  but since he wasn't very studied it was very  compli cated for him to read books, etc. But anyway we did this  initi ation through the whole day and in the evening when he had finished we did a Ganapuja. My  teacher,  Changchub Dorje was  present  but he wasn't doing any particular puja, we, his students  did the puja. When  we finished the puja I said to him, Thank you very much for the teaching you gave us today. We received a wonderful  initiation  and we are very happy. Now I want to return to my  home to  rest.  And  I started to get up. But he said,   No,  no. Sit  down. I said, Thank you but I already received teaching. And  he replied,   You  didn't receive any teaching. Then I felt a little  strange  and wondered what he was saying. I sat  there together  with  my father who was  with  me. He  was eating some soup and he offered us some. When we finished  the soup he started to talk about the principle of Dzogchen, the real meaning of the  base,  path and fruit not only in  an intellectual way. And he said to me many times, You studied for many years in college but your mouth is  logic  and your nose is  Madhyamika.  That night he repeated,   You  cannot get into knowledge  that  way . He explained and I observed and really  followed what he was saying and after a little while I really  understood. Before I  hadn't  understood at all what the real meaning of the teaching is. Everything  was only my own construction. So then I was very surprised. I listened and he talked for hours. At  the end he talked as if he was reading a tantra, it was as  if his  terma teaching was com ing  out. Then I couldn't understand very much -  it became a little  difficult  because  it seemed as if he was reading a tantra at the end.  After  a little  while he seemed to consider what he was doing and he said, OK. It's  better  if I stop now.  Then he stopped. After  that  whenever I went to him to do some work for him I  finally  understood the many things he said  and  did;  everything became a  kind  of introduction. So  that  is an example. It is not so easy, we are very much concentrated on formal things. But the teaching must go to the essence  and the  essence  is related to transmission. So transmis sion  is really indispensable. If   there  is no transmission  there  is no realization. For  example, in some Dzogchen  texts  it is said  that  some people can have such  kind  of knowledge and understanding even if   there  is not  teacher,  for example in an isolated country such as  Africa  where  there  is no  Buddhism,  no  teacher.  Some people who are  living  in  that  kind  of place can have such knowledge of Dzogchen naturally. That is  kind  of a natural quality. But of course  there  is no knowledge of the  base,  path and fruit, no knowledge of how to progress, how to integrate. If   these  kind  of people  meet  Dzogchen teaching and a  teacher they can wake up and easily have realization or the capacity for  integration. When  we  follow  Dzogchen teachings we always consider  that there  is a connection between the teaching and trans mission,  something already concrete. If you have no connection  with  this teaching you can never have the occasion to receive teachings and transmission. In the  same  way, even if someone is in an isolated place such as  Africa  it doesn't mean  that that  person has always been  there.  They may have been in other places. They may have met the teachings and  teacher,  it  depends  on circumstances. When we are  following  Dzogchen teachings even if some people don't have any knowledge of the teachings, when the teacher  explains, they immediately wake up. That  means that  they already have a connection. In fhis  case  it is  still very important to have transmission, to have a  teacher  in order to go ahead to total realization. You  must not remain only in the idea of  Dzogchen. Some people learn a  little  about Dzogchen and say,   Oh,  Dzogchen is wonderful, Dzogchen is beyond limitations, etc. , construct ing  a very nice dimension. And then they also say something like,   Oh  there  is nothing to realize in Dzogchen . We say there  is nothing to realize in Dzogchen, we are realized from the beginning if we are in  that state,  but we are not.  Even though many people have  that  kind  of concept, it is [only] a fantasy. So  it is essential to know  that  transmission is very impor tant, that  the  teacher  is very important.  You  don't necessarily always need a  teacher  with  you, but a  teacher  gives trans mission,  gives teaching and you can learn, you can go deeper [into the teaching].  After  the  teacher  there  are also many practitioners who we  call  'vajra brother and sisters'. In general, practitioners use this term  like  a title in order to say something nice  like  they do on the plane when they say, Ladies and gentlemen . It  seems  to be a nice term but in the real  sense  it is not  like  that.  Vajra  brothers and sisters  means really  related  with  the vajra.  Vajra  means  our real nature. When  we sing the Song of the  Vajra  (I already explained what the Song of the  Vajra  is and how we sing it, how we get in  the  state  of transmission) then we are  together, teacher and  student, student  and  student,  all trying to be in  that state at the  same  moment -  that  is vajra. That vajra is  linked, everybody is vajra. So we must understand  that.  That relationship of the vajra is  until  total realization so we must pay respect to  that,  we must also collaborate. It's very very important. Not thinking only of   teacher  and  student,  but stu dent  and  student,  the relationship of the vajra. If you know something  better  than  others  you can inform others, you can talk and help and collaborate  with  each other. It is  like  we are traveling  together  in  a big boat of Dzogchen transmission. We are all in  that  boat and we are traveling. Where are we going? Beyond samsara. Samsara is  like  an ocean. So then what do we do? We do our  best  for traveling without confusion, without problems and we get beyond where we are going. So  this is how we do practice and how we apply transmission. Transcribed and Edited by Liz Granger 2  With  Rinpoche at Karma  Ling,  France by  Elisa  Copello T he ice and snow certainly did not discourage the numerous pilgrims  from  climbing  the mountainous slopes along the  steep  and narrow road to reach  Karma  Ling, an old 14th century chartreuse,  that during  the course of the centuries, has been subject to different management and functions. In 1972 a group of practitioners bought the property and, in time, transformed it  into one of the most important and  best  organized dharma  centers in  France. The atmosphere  that  greeted us was almost Christmas  like,  with snow,  tall  pines framing the landscape, an imposing Stupa  illumi nated  like  a Christmas  tree  within which  a prayer wheel of enormous proportions towered, and numerous wooden chalets scattered throughout the wood to house those  practitioners wishing to do the  three  year  retreat. The chartreuse is enormous and has numerous spaces: a large,  gaily painted shop, the offices, the  Man dala  room for the  Vajra  Dance for which Lama  Denis, the Master of the center, asked transmission dur ing  one of his visits to Merigar, a well-equipped  refectory, a room which  serves as a  Gonpa,  a  well  fur nished  library, the apartment of the resident  Lama  and lodging for  visiting  Masters. A large  tent  had been set up for the 400 or more participants, well-heated and  with  plenty of   seating space. There were many practitioners from  our Community  present  com ing  from Italy, Switzerland, Czechoslovakia,  Germany, Spain, England  and  Holland  to  greet  Rin poche before his  departure  for Portugal and  Latin America.  But the most surprising thing was the presence of so many new people, not only  French, who wished to  meet  Rinpoche  gives  a  public  talk in  Paris the Master and receive his precious Teaching. At  each  retreat,  no matter how long  or short,  there  are always more and more people who are meeting Dzogchen  for the first time and  Rin poche always tirelessly  starts  again from  the beginning as he did at  Kar ma  Ling  where he explained the importance of discovering our real condition.  He dwelt on the characteristics of Dzogchen in relationship to the vehicles of Sutra and Tantra and spoke of the transmis sion  and the practice of Guruyoga. indispensable and essential for whoever  follows  this path. In par ticular,  Rinpoche was insistent about how fundamental it is to learn to work   with  secondary  circum stances  in the awareness  that  in whatever condition one finds oneself, even in one  which  appears  the least favorable for Dharma practice, one can always apply a method to discover  and maintain the  state  of presence, dedicating oneself to the most complex and elaborate practices when the  possibility  arises. The Master continued his teaching by explaining some very simple  practices to apply in the four  principle moments of the day (while  eating, sleeping, sitting and walking)  and when one is in con tact  with  the elements (fire, water and air)  with  the aim of training oneself   and totally integrating  ones practice in  daily  life. Then  Rinpoche transmitted and gave instruction on the  Five  Princi pal  Points or  Zer-Nga,  showing how through this practice beginners can discover  their real condition; stale practitioners can refresh and reawaken their  state  of presence and advanced practitioners can progress further along the path of   knowledge. The  retreat  concluded  with  a final  Ganapuja  followed  by a few words by  Lama  Denis thanking Rinpoche  for accepting to give teachings at  Karma  Ling.  He expressed his wishes  that  this  visit would  in future strengthen the  links of   friendship  that  for more than  five years have  linked  the two Masters and two centers. During  the  retreat  sessions of Yantra  Yoga  and Dance of the Three Vajras  were organized and led respectively  by Ian and Stoffelina. The organizers at  Karma  Ling were  highly  efficient  in  their organi zation  of the  retreat,  and did their best  to make it successful even though the weather conditions made this  difficult.  ã HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! With  deep  gratitude and love, the international Dzogchen Community wishes  Chögyal  Namkhai  Norbu a  very happy 60th birthday and continued good health! May  your precious human  life  be a long one! Chögyal  Namkhai Norbu in France  continued from  page  1 After  lunch. Rinpoche met the Community and answered questions about how to develop the land. Three main ideas were expressed: making rooms fit for  individual  retreats  (usable also for dark   retreat)  even inside the main  building:  developing a structure for  collective  Yantra and  Vajra  Dance courses:  allowing  parking places for up to twenty cars. PARIS TEACHINGS After  the lecture held in Paris on the  following  Tuesday, the week-end retreat  took place in  Ccrgy.  in the green Northwest suburb of Paris on an island  in the wonderfully natural two hundred and thirty  hectares  of the  local leisure park ( Base de  Loisirs ).  Conditions were  difficult  because of icy weather and a  railway  strike.  Moreover  the room rented on the island proved too  small  in front of huge last minute registrations.  After  first stopping the registrations and opening a waiting  list,  it was decided two days before the retreat  to  allow  more people to hear the teachings and therefore  rent  a new room  with  video transmission. In  spite of   these  uncomfortable conditions, many old and new practitioners from all over the  world  attended the four sessions of the teachings con cluded  Sunday morning by the  full  transmission of lungs and questions and answers. On Sunday afternoon Rinpoche presided over the general assem bly  of the French  Community  and explained  that  the gekod  could  not be part of   the  gakyil  and should be elected afterwards.C'First you  build  the  office, then you put the assistant inside ). An almost completely new  gakyil  was then elected,  followed  by the first gekod of Dejam  Ling.  To conclude.  Rin poche offered a  statue  of Padmasambhava for the new Dzogchen center. ã Contacts for schedule on  page  1 Argentina: Contact: Tashigar C.C.No.1-5155 Tanti Pcia.  de Cordoba Tel:  0054-70384036 Fax:  54 54198300 Email:tashigar@ ar Peru: Comunidad Dzogchen  del Peru J.Bustamante Enrique  Palacios 1125-C Miradores,  Lima  18 Tel  445 5003 Fax  4472984 Cel  9310754 Venezuela: Menda  Dzogchen  Community Apartado Postal 483 Menda  5101 Fax:  58 74 447550; 58 74440026 Italy: Merigar  Comunità  Dzogchen Arcidosso.  58031  GR,  Italy Tel:  39564966837 Fax:  39 564 968110 USA: Tsegyalgar P.O.  Box  277 Conway, Mass.  01341 Tel:  413 3694153 Fax:  413 3694165  Mexico: Lennart Aastrup Nino Artillero  33 Tepoztlan.  Morelos Tel:  52 73950192 Fax:  52 73951059 New  Zealand: Rosemary  Friend 7 Radnor Street North  East  Valley Dunedin  S. Island Tel:  643 4730886 Fax:6434779463  Australia: Namgyalgar  Dzogchen Community  of   Australia POBox  14 Central  Tilba, NSW  2546 Tel.  and  Fax:  (02) 4476 3446  Clyro Court  continued from  page  I the dark ride high, a powerful practice of the  Chöd  took place. This practice seemed to  attract  almost everyone attending, old and new. and it seemed to tap into the strong energies of the time and the place.  After wards several people who had never done this practice before remarked on  how strong the energy was. On  the last day, Sunday. Rinpoche, after responding  with  great patience and humor to our  requests  for transmissions of various practices, proceeded to explain the principle and  true  meaning of transmis sion  as illustrated through his own meeting  with  the  great  Dzogchen Master  Chang Chub Dorje.  After  explaining the principles of the Ganapuja we then finished the formal part of this weekend seminar by doing a Ganapuja together. On going outside after the practice many people  wit nessed a bright rainbow in the sky outside the hotel. For  some people this was not entirely the end of the weekend however. A  visit  to  KunSelLing  had been organized on Sunday afternoon and altogether 80 people trooped up  there  to see the place and be  with  Rin poche crammed in the not- so-big front room. I understand they sang the Song of   Vajra  together. Now  looking  back on Rinpoche s  visit  to the  UK.  we are many very grateful people. People who do not have the opportunity to travel, reestablished contact  with  Rinpoche.  Many  people who had not met  Rin poche before made a connection. It really feels  like  the timing of this  visit to the UK was such  that  it maximized the positive benefits for our Sang-ha. We  wish  our Master  Chogyal  Namkhai  Norbu  and all the Sanghas of the  world  great  harmony and success in the future! ã The  Mirror   December 1 9981 January 1999 3  His  Holiness The  XlVth  Dalai  Lama  and the Controversy  Over Shugden by  Andy  Lukianowicz B OOK  R EVIEWS Simply Being  Texts in the Dzogchen Tradition Translated & Introduced by  James  Low Vajra  Press,  London 1998 pp 175 D uring  his teachings at the  Lama Tsongkapa Institute in Pomaia in  Summer 1996. H.H. the 14th Dalai  Lama Tenzin  Gyatso took the trouble to convene the Tibetan community in Europe to deliver a lengthy talk on, or  rather  against, the practice of the protector Gyalpo  Shugden. The  Dalai  Lama strongly  criticized  this cult on two counts, in  terms  of politics and of Dharma. Regarding the former, as we shall see below, the practice of Shugden. also known as Gyalchen and  Dholgyal,  has given rise to controversies and struggles  within  the Gelugpa  school. And regarding the latter, this practice is a degeneration of   the teachings of   Buddhism,  as it is  a reversion to the propitiation and worship of a  worldly  deity (and. in the specific  case  of   Gyalchen  Dhol gyal,  a spirit devoid of any intrinsic spiritual  qualities)  that  is contrary to the principle of taking refuge in the Three Jewels - Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. In fact, while the profound teachings of the Buddha are based on the two  truths  and the Four Noble  Truths, the  appeasement  and propitiation of Gyalchen, to the extent it is performed by its practitioners, is a degeneration of   Bud dhist practice into a form of spirit worship. Moreover, to  entrust  one self   to Gyalchen instead of relying on  Buddha Sakyamuni as  one's refuge  means  that,  in  effect, to  cease to be a Buddhist. This is one reason why  the  Dalai  Lama  asked  that  anyone practicing this protector should refrain from coming to him for  teachings or  initiations.  But who or what is Gyalchen, and what has provoked this outspoken warning from  His Holiness, and why is the spread of this cult a  cause  of such grave concern among the more open-minded contemporary Tibetan Lamas? The  srcin  of Gyalchen is recounted by Nebesky-Wojkowitz in   Oracles and Demons of Tibet and is also mentioned en  passant  as an example of the phenomenon of deification  of a spirit of a  well- known  person, turning him into a religious protector, by Samten Kar-may in A General Introduction to the History and Doctrine of Bon . Neither of   these  accounts mention the emanation of   Gyalchen  from the Buddha  Manjushri, as spuriously invented by the proponents of this cult:  the most prominent proponent of   this cult in the West, Geshe  Kel- sang Gyatso (more of this personage below) has actually gone so far as to  assert  that  Gyalchen is a completely enlightened Buddha, of whom  Manjushri is an emanation! In  fact, the making of the ghost of   a suicide monk into the religious protector known as Shugden occurred in the early 17th century. When  the Grand Abbot of Drepung, the 4th  Dalai  Lama  Yontan Gyatso, died  in 1617, two boys were put forward as candidates by the monastery:  Tulku  Drakpa Gyaltsen (later recognized as the 3rd in the incarnation line of Panchen Sonam Drakpa) was the candidate of the gong-ma  (Upper Chamber, tradi tionally  associated  with  the descen dants  of Panchen Sonam Drakpa); the candidate of the  'og-ma  (Lower chamber, traditionally associated with  the  Dalai  Lamas) was the boy who later became the 5th  Dalai Lama.  On losing Drakpa Gyaltsen decided to leave the  world voluntarily , which  he did by choking himself  with  a ceremonial scarf. When  he was cremated, a  cloud  in the form of an open hand appeared over the funeral pyre and his  fol lowers beseeched him to remain as their protector. Some time after this event calamities began to  befall  the province of central Tibet, and in particular the Tibetan government and the  Dalai  Lama  in person (who was very broad-minded and allowed,  and himself had done, the practices of   all  the Tibetan religious traditions: hence his unpopularity among sectarians - this is a pattern that  has repeated  itself   in  the  case  of the 14th  Dalai  Lama,  as we shall see below).  Eventually some of the leaders of the more sectarian  wing of   the Gelugpa school asked the spirit  of   Drakpa Gyaltsen  to become a protective deity of their order under the name Dorje Shugden. However, many high Lamas have proved  that  the  Gyalchen  spirit,  that has a long history of antagonism towards the  Dalai  Lamas and the Tibetan Government they head, is the protector neither of the Gelugpa order nor  of   Tibetan  Buddhism,  and as the  Dalai  Lama  himself has pointed out, the Gelugpa have  three main  protectors: Mahakala, Vaishravana and Kalarupa, so  that there  is no need for Gelugpas to rely on  a protector other  that  those bound by oath by Je Tsongkapa. In  particular it was  Tenzin  Gyatso's predecessor, the 13th  Dalai Lama  (1876-1933), who suffered interference in his projects from Gyalchen  and who consequently, like  the 5th  Dalai  Lama  before him, banned the consultation of the Gyalchen  medium and the propitia tion  of Gyalchen among the Lhasa aristocracy and at Drepung, Ganden and the other big Gelugpa monasteries, where it had become widespread in the first  half   of the 20th century, largely due to the teachings and popularity of the charismatic but highly sectarian and intolerant fundamentalist Gelugpa  Lama Phabongka, himself a practitioner of   Gyalchen. It was through some unfortunate circumstances (a journey unaccompanied by the regular Nechung and Gadong medium-oracles) in his younger years  that  H.H. the 14th Dalai  Lama  made the mistake of himself   starting to propitiate Gyalchen,  both in annual collective practices and in his own private practice. He continued to cultivate this relationship  with  this new protector, neglecting the far longer relationship between the  Dalai Lamas and the traditional protectors of   Tibet and the Tibetan government, Palden Lhamo and Gyalpo Kugna  (the  Five  State  Guardians), until  certain omens in dreams and through oracles indicated  that  it was inappropriate to continue  with  the propitiation of   Gyalchen  and  that  he should  rather  return to consulting the Nechung and Gadong oracles instead. Moreover, after his arrival in  India the Nechung oracle  specifi cally  advised him against propitia tion  of this new protector, and he received advice along the  same lines from Serkong Rinpoche and his own tutor  Ling  Rinpoche; however the  Dalai  Lama  preferred to act on  their advice while remaining silent about it in public, so as not to upset  followers of   Gyalchen within the Gelugpa order. But  subsequent ly,  with  the publication in India of the polemical  yellow  book   Oral Transmission of the Intelligent Father by Kushog Zemey Rinpoche (but probably written by the  Dalai Lama's junior tutor Trijang  Rin poche, himself a practitioner of Gyalchen), which  had caused several Tibetans to  cease  attending the Guru  Rinpoche 100,000  tsog  offerings for the general  cause  of   Tibet  at the TsuglagKhang patronized by the  Dalai  Lama,  and the rejoinder by  the Sakya  Lama  Dhonthog Ten- pai  Gyaltsen (but probably authored by  H.H.  Dudjom Rinpoche, 1904-1987. the supreme head of the Nyingma  school of Tibetan  Bud dhism), the  Dalai  Lama  fell  into despondency over  these  overt signs of   division  among the Tibetans. He was especially concerned  that,  as Zemey Rinpoche too was a disciple of   the  Dalai  Lama's tutor Trijang Rinpoche,  he himself might get tarred  with  the  same  sectarian brush. In fact  Tenzin  Gyatso  kindly and in a non-sectarian way interpreted Zemey's text to mean, not that  a practitioner  could  not eclecti- cally  practice rituals from other sects  (termed 'corruption' in Zemey's work) but  rather  that  one should not use the terminology of one tradition when commenting on the works of another. In order to stop the  conflict  spreading among the Buddhist traditions His  Holi ness  was compelled to  state, through the  Council  for Religious Affairs,  that  the root from  which  the poison of sectarianism had spread was Zemey Rinpoche's book, and to admonish all concerned to work for  the benefit of the Buddhist teachings in general instead. On  further consulting the Nechung dharma protector Dorje Dragden, the embodiment of the Gyalpo Kugna, specifically  on the issue of   Gyalchen,  through the oracle's mouth the protector  told  the Dalai  Lama  that  more harm than good came from relying on Gyalchen  and  that  calamities and misfortune always  befall  those  who rely  on this mischievous spirit. Moreover,  reliance on Gyalchen was strongly offensive to Palden Lhamo,  the principal protectress of Tibet.  Later, through a divination before the speaking thangka of Palden Lhamo he received an  indi cation to stop any sort of propitia tion  of   Gyalchen,  and subsequently also to discontinue it in the large monasteries, advising the congregations to confine themselves to the recitation of prayers to Palden Lhamo. The Nechung oracle then went further, so  that  the  Dalai  Lama instructed the Cabinet  that  in future prayers  would  be offered only to Gyalpo Kugna  and Palden Lhamo, although of course  individual  practitioners were free to continue rely ing  on  Gyalchen  in private  if   they so wished. On being consulted,  Tri  jang Rinpoche pointed out  that  in principle  there  could  not be a con flict  between Palden Lhamo and Gyalchen,  but concurred  that  the present  situation  arose  from the cur rent  spiritual and  political  affairs of Tibet.  When the  Dalai  Lama received a  request  from the  Jangtse College  of Ganden Monastic  Uni versity to explain a series of misfor tunes  they were undergoing, the answer he received from his  divina- S imply  Being,  subtitled Texts in  the Dzogchen Tradition , is an excellent  collection  of   Dzogchen texts, selected, translated and commented by  James  Low.  I think practitioners and  students  of Dzogchen will  find  these  teachings, collected by  James  while studying Buddhism in  India, of   great  inspiration and of great  use. Of   great  inspiration, because  they  present  the quintessential experience of   great  practitioners and  teachers  of the  past  and present  such as (among others) Padmasambhava, Patrul Rinpoche and CR.  Lama.  Of   great  use  because James  never  takes  the easy way out, never surrenders to the obvious, merely traditional explanation, instead always delving  deeper  in his quest  for explanations relevant to 20th century practitioners of timeless (but not time-bound) teachings. Among  the thirteen  texts there are four teachings by Patrul  Rin poche. The first, A  Brief   Explana tion  of Refuge and  Bodhicitta,  sets out a traditional  view  of the  nature and process of taking refuge and developing bodhicitta: by taking refuge we no longer rely on the props of our  daily  existence, while developing compassion  separates us from our usual self-centeredness. These practices  thus  form a basis for  freeing ourselves from the trammels of habitual responses. The second, Instructions in the Mahayana View  which Clarifies  the Two Truths, elucidates, in scholarly yet simple language, the relationship between the absolute and the rela tive,  between nirvana and samsara. As  James  Low  explains in the Introduction to the first edition of this book (Durtro Press, London 1994) understanding of the two  truths  is very useful for the Dzogchen practitioner since it helps remove the guilt,  sadness,  anger,  sense  of   fail ure, etc.  that  can arise when the  state of   presence is lost. Understanding the unbroken thread  linking  samsara and nirvana  grants  the practitioner more  routes  of access back to integration once it has been lost due to involvement in the contents of awareness, preparing the way for the ultimate goal  which  is the effortless integration of meditative equipoise and  subsequent  experience (nyamshag and jethob). The tion  was  that  there  was a  conflict with  Palden Lhamo due to excessive dependence on Gyalchen, and that  the solution lay in rigorous restriction on the propitiation of the latter. To summarize the Nechung oracle's answers, one of the main reasons  for Palden Lhamo's displeasure was  that  the Gelugpa practitioners of   Gyalchen  seemed not to be satisfied  with  their traditional protectress, Palden Lhamo, and this was the reason mishaps were occur ring  to  those  who had turned from worshipping Palden Lhamo Sri Devi  to propitiating  Gyalchen. Moreover,  the  srcin  of the pre sent  Gyalchen, who has a highly aggressive nature, is suspect, and many Lamas believe he is an incarnation neither of Panchen Sonam Drakpa  nor of   Tulku  Drakpa  Gyalt sen but instead of someone who had made  evil  prayers, such  that  while third  text, Self-liberating Understanding, focuses on practice more than on theory as Patrul weaves statements  of the concepts of the Dzogchen view  into the various responses  he  suggests  to problems in  meditation. Here, however, the responses  are the insightful applica tion  of one basic principle to whatever arises from the experience of fragmentation (i.e., of an inner subject  separate  from outer objects and not specific antidotes to different problems  (that  would merely serve to sustain the fragmentation). The fourth, The Essential  Point in Three Statements, is  Patrul Rinpoche's famous and masterful  brief   expository commentary to Garab Dorje's  three instructions to Manjusrimitra. James  Low furnishes his own commentary on  these  teachings in his chapter On the Three  Statements of   Garab Dorje . The Natural  Condition  and the State  of Bewilderment, is a teach ing  by Padmasambhava found both in  the transmitted lineage (kama) and  treasure  lineage (terma). Expressed in  rather  technical  lan guage, it is a series of   statements  by Padmasambhava based on his own personal experience and understanding of the common ground of samsara and nirvana, presenting the Dzogchen view  as a practical and affective way of   recognizing  erran cy  in meditation. The Meditation and Recitation on  Vajrasattva who Purifies Errors and Obscurations', the translation of   a text written by  Chimed  Rigdzin Lama,  James  Low's  own guru, deals  with  the relationship between fantasy and reality, between the delusory  appearances  formed by our projections, hopes and fears, and the purity of the underlying reality  that these  distort. Meditation on  Vajrasattva enables us to contact and recognize this innate purity and to experience emptiness and aware ness. Another chapter, Encouragement through Impermanence , provides a succinct expression, by Rigdzin Gödern,  one of the  great Tenons of the Nyingmapa tradition, of   one of the key concepts of Dzogchen:  the need to merge knowledge and realization. Study  continued   on  next page anyone who strongly relies on Gyalchen  may  initially  be success ful  in obtaining what they  wish  for, especially in the  worldly  sphere (which  is how people are beguiled into this baneful practice) eventual ly  and inevitably they  will  be sub ject to various calamities, to mad ness  and  finally  to death by suicide. In  the  Dalai  Lama Tenzin  Gyatso's own  words, if a practitioner has already sought   Life  Entrustment with  Gyalchen,  there  is no need to give  him up, but for  those  who have not,   there  is no point in buying a noose for your own neck.  More over, the  Dalai  Lama  has also asserted  that  the practice of Gyalchen  threatens  not only his own  life  but also the future of the Tibetan people, and at least one Lama  has  stated  that  it was Gyalchen  and the Gyalpo class of  continued   on  page  5 4


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Jul 23, 2017
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